Miso is a Japanese seasoning paste made from fermented soybeans. Often it also includes grain or rice. Fermented means that soy, water and koji (a fungus) react with each other, creating a food that has a long shelf life. Since the paste is vegan and hearty, it can be used very well in so many dishes. Miso is also known as Japan's brown butter.
What types of miso are there?
Miso comes in different colors and flavors. Mild, sweet, hot, salty and spicy - almost all flavors are included. In general, miso always tastes umami, meaning rich. Various dishes can be seasoned and refined with miso. The varieties are classified according to taste, color and of course how they are made. Most of the time, miso is brownish or reddish (Aka miso) in color. But there is also white miso. Depending on how long and with which ingredients the paste was fermented, it can look and taste differently. The consistency also varies. Sweet and mild miso with a light color (Shiro Miso) is usually rather short ripened and contains many koji cultures. The darker the miso looks, the salty and stronger it tastes. Dark miso contains less koji and more soybeans than the light pastes.
How do I use miso?
Since miso is rich in proteins (enzymes) and traditionally contains many lactic acid bacteria (probiotics), it is usually very digestible and good for intestinal health. Miso paste should not be boiled in order to preserve the bacteria created during fermentation. The paste is only dissolved in hot water. It is then no longer necessary to add salt.
For which dishes do I use miso?
You can find miso, for example, in sauces, dressings, tofu and vegetable dishes or in soups. Each region in Japan has its own miso preferences and secret recipes. The well-known miso soup is a clear soup that is classically served with kombu, tofu and spring onions. It is served as a starter or main course in Japan and is traditionally eaten with rice at breakfast. Otherwise, meat or pasta dishes and even desserts can be enriched with miso.
MYCONBINI tip: Check out the deli category for our special organic miso powder or 10years aged rice miso.